tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC November 23, 2012 9:00am-10:00am PST
st man. may i have the rings please? ah, helzberg diamonds. nice choice, mate. ...and now in the presence of these guests we join this loving couple. oh dear... geico. 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance. they thought they had it. let's play "hardball." hi, i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start with this, when a political party gets beat the knives come out. first you blame the candidate, that's the easy part. next you blame the campaign. that's just as easy if you lose, everything was wrong. like shooting fish in a barrel, blame everything. the hard part is figuring out the basics.
did you go too wide and thin or too narrow and tough? did you broaden your appeal so widely that you stood for nothing or did you circle the wag son tightly that you left out a majority of the country? that's the question that may take the republicans now four years to answer. did we go too right on taxes and immigration and foreign policy or where were too moderate, not ideological enough? one thing you can never be wrong on, if you lose you can't brag. if you lose, everything gets it, everything you did and nobody will admit he or she is wrong. gee reid managing editor of the grio. joy, you first and john jump m in here. seems like if you look at the trial balloons for 2016 you see the two directions of the party. people like rubio, down in florida, who's talking about the seven days of creation again. and then on the other end of the world, you have chris christie talking about how many days it's going to take us to clean up this mess from sandy. once living in the secular real
world, off in the ideological, world that the right likes to get into. joy, you're shaking your head. they haven't decided to go sky high into the ideology with the old testament or become a more modern party. >> i think you picked the right person to focus on. marco rubio, be seems to be at the crossroads. there's three wings of the republican party, the evangelical right, business wing of the party and then the sort of joe the plumber wing we call the tea party. they now all sort of rushed into the void created by the economic recession with the business wing deciding they wanted one of their own to be president, mitt romney, evangelicals legislating on morals and contraception and abortion after 2010, and then with the tea party saying no, we're going to impose small government austerity on the rest of the country. all three collapsed in this election in 2012. now they have to decide which is strong enough to survive. my personal theory is the business wing was always the
strongest and will be the surviving wing and you can hear that in the talk about loosening up on immigration. the business wing wants loser immigration rules. i think they're the one that's going to try to assert themselves but that's a cross purposes with the tea party wing that is dead set against immigration. >> don't trust the goodwill of the business community. the labor unions ought to be organizes, everybody comes in legal or not. the business community doesn't want real work, fast as they can and cheap as they can. >> to john about history. you and i remember i think back in 1988 as far back then, the democrats had won a race, this is a race, the key thing is not that you lose or lose by a lot, didn't lose by a huge amount, when you lose when you think you're going to win. that's when you rethink your party. just like dukakis, everybody thought he has it, going to work, the new party. he's up by 17 in august, loses by 8, could have lost by more if the campaign continued the way
it was going. they thought they would win, george will, the brains of the party said they would win. lose by about six. here's the question, are they going to do the thing the democrats did, widen the party, go to the dlc route, the middle, go for business, and not go for just further right? which way are they headed? >> just -- to do a little history here quickly. the actual rethinking within the democratic party, started after the 1984 loss by walter mondale. the emergence that year of gary hart and the new democrats and so that idea that we've gotten to broaden our appeal, get away from some of these kind of liberal ideas that have been dominating the party for a long time, really helped the democrats. it took eight years before they came back into power in 19 92. that rethinking period was enormously important.
the republicans have not yet begun that process. >> yeah. >> they need to come to terms with the fact that they just aren't appealing to enough people and they also have what one national review writer, a conservative writer recently called, a culture of contempt in their party. they just disrespect voters. disrespect other people. they need a friendlier, more uplifting, more inclusive message and if they don't get it they won't get power back. >> the old comment i made back in 2000 later on in this cycle was that george w. bush spoke english like a foreign language. what's worse, to be condescending or ignorant? on election night and the morning after, conservatives were falling into those two camps about party direction, hard right or change with the times. let's watch. >> i think he did honorably well. came pretty close. but he was a man, he's a
northeastern liberal and that's not where we're going. i'm optimistic because there was a very strong republican bench that did not enter the fray. when all the soul searching about what ideology we're going to pursue is going to come from them and i think it will be a fairly reagan conservative one. >> what's happened with the republicans is they are the republican party is a mad men party in a modern family america and it doesn't fit anymore. >> well, by the way, charles krauthammer as you know and i know, used to be a speechwriter for walter mondale. the aforementioned walter mondale. >> he is so out to lunch for a guy as smart as he is. the idea that their problem was they nominated a northeastern liberal. come on. >> he must have some fish to fry. what's charles pushing right there? >> he's a neocon, so his priority over the next few years will be to make sure that they have this kind of very chauv nistic foreign policy.
>> gene kir patrick being the star of that world. >> that's not going to bring them back to power either. they need to, obviously, appeal to hispanics, everybody knows that, but they need to figure out how to integrate all of these different wings of the party in a way that expands beyond aging white men. their party has become a regional white, old party and it doesn't cut it anymore in america. that's what this election showed. >> well let's talk about that, about what -- what reasonable steps, let's talk about that. can you, joy, see around the country and look at what they did become pretty much a white party, but a lot of that in all fairness has to due with the fact that we have an african-american president and tremendous loyalty on that side to him, which is totally understandable as the first, the rule of the first, the first person always benefits tremendously from group loyalties. if we had had a white liberal running as a democrat instead of an african-american liberal or
progressive, whatever the current term seems to be, i would say liberal still works for me, would there have been more of an opportunity for the republicans to run an african-american, change things around that way? i mean maybe a conservative? are they flexible enough to reach out to the classic american minority who are african-americans been around here longer than the white people have been in this country, most of them is. >> i think the problem for the republican party, is their ideas and philosophy, forgetting just their tone which is very off putting to african-americans, to latinos and young people, but their core philosophy is not popular with these minority groups. when you look at african-americans and you just drill down into their core beliefs they have a belief that government has a role, so do latinos. in the time that republican party has been messaging negatively to minorities during that time, those very groups have been developing a democratic philosophy about government. so now what you have is that latinos, african-americans and now it turns out asians as well,
they poll favorable to democrats on core issues. should the government step in and help people who can't help themselves who are poor? should there be programs for poverty and the elderly? do we support the social safety net? yes when minority groups are asked that question. how can the republicans turn around and sell them a philosophy of their small government, take the government out of your -- don't help the poor, get rid of medicare, cut back social security, the problem is, those groups don't believe in that. i don't know how -- just having a minority isn't going to help them. >> african-americans have a history of relying on the federal government to enforce civil rights. >> absolutely. >> a lot of things the government did and winning the civil war, goes back that far with lincoln believing in the federal government. but i think latinos, a lot of people coming from latin countries have a great suspicion of government. there's not an automatic belief their the good guys. >> latinos are polling closer to african-americans on those issue. that was one of the other problems, it wasn't just
immigration. on economic issues latinos are starting to pull towards arch can americans. >> democrats should not be cocky about this with some refashioning of their party they can appeal to people's values of self-reliance. >> you know why they will do it because they have to, john. you're making the point i would like to make. you do it because you have to. politicians who have survival skills learn to adapt. >> it can't be tokenism. >> the whole country remember we had rockefeller in new york who was -- we had a great support for minorities and people like that who were by their nature attractive, whereas ronald reagan because of the way he acted like the guy in the country club that wouldn't let you in or whatever, some signal he kept send to african-americans that put them off. >> started his campaign in philadelphia and mississippi in 1980 where the civil rights workers were killed. he was trying to send these coded messages. >> think about somebody like newt gingrich who in the '80s
and '90s was considered a friendly face toward the african-american community. he was this cycle screaming food stamp president. you can't just try to find an african-american or latino candidate who will mouth the same words. you have to change the party. >> alan west isn't going to make it. he did concede. thank you joy and jonathan. >> happy holidays. coming up the best of campaign 2012. think of this as a football highlight show after the big game. corporations are people. 47%. the first debate. we'll go over all the hits and misses with our all-star cast. this is a year in review thing. what do the following have in common? the watergate cover-up, iran-contra, monica lewinsky, katrina, they have happened during second terms. how does president obama avoid the kind of second-term disaster that has crippled so many presidencies? and, canned nuts the crazy conspiracy theories that the right wing spun this election
season. here's one from rush limbaugh. democrats manipulated the weather forecast in tampa so the republicans would cancel the first day of their convention. really, rush? that's not even the nuttiest one. let me finish with a letter from the war front that a young pt vote commander once wrote years before he became president. this is "hardball," the place for politics. wasn't my daughters black bean soup spectacular? [ man thinking ] oh, this gas. those antacids aren't working. oh no, not that, not here! [ male announcer ] antacids don't relieve gas. gas-x is designed to relieve gas. gas-x. the gas xperts. can i still ship a gift in time for christmas? yeah, sure you can. great. where's your gift? uh... whew. [ male announcer ] break from the holiday stress. ship fedex express by december 22nd for christmas delivery.
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time for the "hardball" campaign 2012 postgame show. the highlights of the primary season and the low lights and then move on to the general election. mitt romney succinctly summed up the season in an infamous call to donors, quote, we had 20 hp reason debates that was absolutely nuts. the tone set early. august 2011 debate when the candidates assembled on stage showed their intransigence on the issues of raising taxes. watch grover norquists people go
to work here. let's listen. >> well, i'm going to ask a question to everyone on the stage. say you had a deal, a real spending cuts deal, 10 to 1 as byron said, spending cuts to tax increases, speaker you're shaking your head. who on this stage would walk away from that deal? raise your hand if you would feel so strongly about not raising taxes you would walk away on the 10 to 1 deal some. >> joining me to review that list of greatness, another highlights and low lights of the primary season, michael steele, who never had a year like this. always a success over there. t"the huffington post." that was a scene. you come from the roots of the republican party. let me ask you, was that a good day or bad day for the republicans when they went up like lockstep? >> one sense it was a bad day. interesting that later on, that huntsman said, you know, i
probably should have raised my hand and said i would have taken the ten to one deal. i think he recognized after the fact that was a definitive movement where he could have carved out a new space on that stage and probably run the kind of campaign free of that baggage. >> wouldn't have looked very good after the election. >> right. >> i'm just saying, i think that moment sort of solidified the rest of the story for this. >> the rule? politics you want to be the ones that voted against it so you don't get blamed for it. >> i agree with the chairman that was the beginning and end for jon huntsman but also in the long term, the beginning of the end for mitt romney. >> yes. >> how so? >> well, because he began to lock himself into a position of grover norquisting himself for the whole election. and that played into who he was as a businessman, that played into the 47%. >> it's today's politics like they used to say, you have to be the most segregationist guy in
the south. somebody would always go to your right on that issue. >> you could say whatever an early primary season crowd clasp for furiously as happened in that individual will kill you in october 15th in ohio. >> let's -- >> that's what happened. >> i get thrilled sometimes thinking how great politics is. these moments you bring up. let's go back to the iowa caucus. iowa, another unique state in the caucuses. mitt romney's campaign and the super pack supporting him were in a mission to annihilate all competition with the ads. just bomb the hell out of the city. newt gingrich was the biggest threat, they destroyed him. here's a romney supporting ad destroying newt. >> know what makes barack obama happy? newt gingrich's baggage. newt has more baggage than the airlines. freddie mac helped cause the economic collapse but gingrich cashed in. freddie mack paid newt $30,000 an hour, $1.6 million. gingrich not only teamed up with
nancy pelosi on global warming, but together, they cosponsored a bill that gave $60 million a year to a u.n. program supporting china's brutal one child policy. >> there's been discussion in my head and everywhere else about where ads work an election. no ad will change their mind. those ads out there -- >> primaries, they are deadly. and particularly in republican primaries and that ad in particular, for newt gingrich, buzz devastating because it hit -- it was the kitchen sink. it threw it all in there. >> what did it say about him? >> it said, you know, he's an insider, a washington pal. >> yeah. >> and he even pals around with nancy pelosi. isn't we just fire her? >> the loving looks they managed to work with the camera shot there. >> real quick on that, the interesting thing and i thought what -- if i were newt i would have pivoted off that and nancy that's what the people are
looking together, the partnership work getting things done. >> but they were talking about global warming -- >> the other thing about that ad, that was sbo entire mitt romney campaign strategy in the primaries, take no prisoners, attack the other guy's strategy. it wasn't about il romney was a committed conservative. it just showed that mitt romney had tons of money and some clever consultants who could carve up anybody in his path. that left him with a lot of making up to do once he secured the nomination. the way he got the nomination, as typified by that add, showed weakness in his campaign. >> back to the smart strategy, somebody that's going to be the republican nominee and that person is going beat obama, therefore all you have to do is be the nominee. wasn't that his thinking? >> that was his theory. as howard notice and neil noted making up is hard to do, so the reality became for mitt romney
once he secured that nomination in the early spring, having everyone fall in line and support him wasn't there. >> how many verses can you do? >> a couple. >> throughout the republican party, mitt romney pushed himself so far to the right, we know this part is true, on immigration and the course correction in the generalm neay impossible and don't even tried one. here's the immigration exchange that became a defining line on the hard right for romney. >> let's talk immigration for a second. governor romney you say you don't want go and round up people and deport them but you say they would have to go back to their home countries and apply for deport them how do you send them home? >> the answer is self-deportation which is people decide they can do better by going home because they can't find work here, because they don't have legal documentation to allow them to work here and so we're not going to round people up. >> so what was wrong with that, howard? >> first of all, a little in the background. first of all thehrase self-deportation -- >> was inevitably a headline.
>> managed to summer rise everything that people didn't like about mitt romney. >> like firing you? >> the firewoing you part of itd the cold technocratic part. these are just sort of numbers on a spread sheet. these people will self-deport. i think the combination of the two, the cold-heartedness and cold-bloodedness played into everybody's view. >> like the bathtub is going to overflow and these people will flow out like numbers. >> it's not realistic. the snickering you heard even among republicans in the hall -- >> grandpa is going to wake up, mitt said i should self-deport. >> you kids were staying, you were born here. >> in mid september -- this was funny. hope it didn't ruin the guy's life. rick perry, much celebrated as governor of texas led the gop field for a while. considered a serious contender. many thought he would win this until some lack luster debate performance gave primary voters second thoughts. then this moment. november 9th, big debate, here
he is trying to remember the three government agencies he wants to get rid of. let's watch. >> and i will tell you, it's three agencies of government when i get there that are gone. commerce, education and the -- what's the third one there, let's see? >> you need five. >> five. >> commerce, education, and the -- >> epa? >> epa. there you go. >> let's talk -- let's talk -- >> seriously? >> is epa the one you were talking about? no, sir. talking about the agencies of government -- the epa needs to be build built, no doubt about >> you can't name the third one? >> the third agency of government i would do away with education, the -- i -- commerce, an let's see, i can't. the third one i can't. sorry. oops. >> he wasn't getting a whole lot of help from his pals there.
>> oh, my. >> the first thing they do, you can't bring notes. they start scribbling the notes. that's right. howard, never heard oops before in a national debate. >> props to john harwood for milking -- >> was he brutal. >> for all it' was the cue de c. what this shows about the primary season, how the leaders of the race were. >> oh, yeah. >> michele. >> michelle bachmann. we had newt gingrich. we had rick santorum. we had herman cain and rick perry. five of them, perhaps inartfully refer to them as the clown posse, but when they all left the stage, mitt romney was the guy left standing, by the process of elimination. >> we didn't know when herman cain was saying 9-9-9 he was speaking german. >> romney won more by the process of elimination over these characters. that's the point. >> cogently stated fact of history. because they didn't like the other guys.
they didn't like him. michael and howard, thank you. back to talk about the big moments. we're going positive in a moment. up next, the right wing's most outrageous conspiracy theories are coming up about president obama. of course their favorite target. this is "hardball," the place for politics. so you say men are superior drivers? yeah. then how'd i get this... [ voice of dennis ] ...safe driving bonus check? every six months without an accident, allstate sends a check. ok. [ voice of dennis ] silence. are you in good hands?
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the final weeks of president obama's first term were upon us hard to remember the bizarre conspiracy theories pushed about the president the last four years. let's look back at some of the worst. president obama's 2010 trip to india, u.s. congresswoman michelle bachmann and others on the right were up in arms over rumors about what the trip woulds cost. >> i think we know that just within a day or so the president of the united states will be taking a trip over to india that is expected to cost the taxpayers $200 million a day. we have never seen a trip at this level before of this level of excess. and i think it's not a good signal to send to the american people when the american people are quite frankly struggling right now with high job losses. >> you know -- >> anyway, for comparison by the way $200 million a day would have surpassed the daily cost of the war in afghanistan at the time. that nonfactual story from michele bachmann about the cost of obama's trip which started by
by an unnamed source on an india news website and got into the either there. we can't talk about conspiracy theories without rush limbaugh. first day of the republican convention was canceled due to hurricane isaac. rush floated the idea that president obama was somehow involved with the weather reports showing that tampa might get hit. >> got a hurricane coming. the national hurricane center which is a government agency, is very hopeful that the hurricane gets near tampa. the national hurricane center is obama. it's the national weather service. part of the commerce department. it's obama. i can see obama sending fema in advance of the hurricane hitting tampa so that the republican convention is nothing but a bunch of tents in tampa, a bunch of rv's and stuff. make it look like a disaster area before the hurricane even hits there. >> was he laughing at his own b.s. there? did you ever think that rush
limbaugh would us of a skewed weather report? yeah actually. next, here goes, what caused tom head, a republican judge in texas to float the idea of a tax increase in his state? well, it was about the need to beef up the military personnel he said in case civil war breaks out because president obama got re-elected. do you believe it? here's judge head on that one. >> i'm thinking worse case scenario now. >> right. >> civil unrest, civil n disobedience civil war, maybe, not just a few riots here and demonstrations. we're talking lexington, concord, take up arms and get rid of the guy. he's going to send in u.n. troops. i don't want them in lubbock county. okay. i'm going to stand in front of their armored personnel carrier and say you're not coming in here and the sheriff i've already asked him, said are you going to back me? i'll back you. >> looney tunes. that was his idea of a worse case scenario, barack obama
re-elected. finally .s. congressman steve kg with how president obama's mother managed to convince us her son was born in hawaii, not in kenya. >> i looked into that before he was sworn in for the presidency. we went down into the library of congress and find a micro fish there of two newspapers only two newspapers in hawaii, each of them published the birth of barack obama. it would have been awfully hard to fraudulently file the birth notice of barack obama being born in hawaii. that doesn't mean there aren't some other explanations of how they might have announced that by telegram from ken yashgs the list goes on. >> by telegram? i guess she neglected to consider the mother naming her son barack husain obama might be a minor setback for her son's future run for theresidency of the united states. these people are loony. from mitt romney's 47% video to president obama's debate disaster in denver, the biggest
i'm craig melvin. here's what's happening. protesters have taken to the streets of egypt after president mohamed morsi's position to grant himself broad new powers. israeli troops shot and killed a palestinian man and injured 19 people since a truce took hold. shoppers flock to the stores this black friday looking for deals on the traditional opening day of the holiday season. i will be back with live coverage of these stories and more. back to "hardball," though.
welcome back to "hardball." now that we've marked the highlights of the gop primary, let's dig into the turning points in the general election. first up the video that turned out to be the lowampaign. the candidate's taped comments to donors down in florida that nearly half the americans are lazy and happy to be on the government dollar, known as the 47% video. let's listen again. >> never trust the caterers. joining me again, former republican national committee chairman michael steele and "the huffington post's" howard fine. that could not have been somebody that paid $10,000 to go
in there and hurt the guy. let's take a look at the 47%. it seems to me one of the things, if you're right about this election, the numbers. first of all the occupy people, 1%, all of a sudden 1% became the thing to talk about. the elite economically. then the 47% being anybody who's on any kind of government benefit program whether disability or retirement or it's military or pension. everything was painted as bad. where did he get that number? >> look, this election was all about the numbers. 23 million unemployed, one in six on welfare, but it was that 47% number that trumped them all at the end of the day. people galvanized around it because you're talking about me, my grandma, everyday folks and it really to the point that howard made earlier, really drew out that disconnect between the romney campaign and romney personally and everyone else. >> do you think it's his brand of ideology which is -- >> no. i don't think -- >> it's the shrug there's a few people out there pulling the load for everybody else? >> no.
i think it's a cold, calculated business look. that's how he looks at it. it's like hey -- >> i disagree. i think it's his philosophy and showed in that tape. >> how do you know it's his philosophy? when did mitt romney ever lay out his philosophy? he never told us what that was. >> when he spoke at the democratic national convention bill clbts brought the house down, one of the great speeches ever and made the case for re-electing president obama the way the candidate never got able to do even to the end. listen to big bill at his best. >> are we better off than we were when he took office? listen to this, everybody's forgotten -- everybody's forgotten when president barack obama took office, the economy was in freefall, it had just shrunk nine full percent of gdp,
we were losing 750,000 jobs a month. are we doing better than that today? the answer is yes. >> i was thinking back to the fairy tail remark that hurt him more than obama. the guy's showmanship with the hands, the cuffs flashing, the whole way he presents his case -- >> chris -- >> very southern too. >> i wrote who needs conventions what are they for? they're for moments like that. i was on the floor for that moment one of the most memorable things i've seen live in a hall or anywhere. that was bill clinton at the summation of had is career. that was everything he had learned about showmanship, telling a story. >> i love politics. >> and how to make the case for the president. >> yeah. >> he made it so simply, so clearly, so logically that you wondered why the supposed great speech person barack obama
couldn't do it the way bill clinton did, probably because the kind of case he had to make, somebody other than the president had to make. if the president himself says we were in a terrible situation when i came in, it doesn't sound as compelling as when somebody else said it. >> i had a moment like that in new hampshire when clinton was running the first time, had gotten through the draft letters, the problem with the girlfriend, that was behind him, the draft letter was killing him. went out in front of the field houses and high school gyms and spoke in the round and he would go on the last question of the room he would answer. and rick hertzberg said to me, nobody in our generation can do that. only he can do that. >> well, what also impressed me, i was covering that same series was his. bill clinton's will to succeed and to explain himself. >> that's what separates him from the losers. take the worst falls in the world and come rowing back. another turning point that threatened to derail this campaign, purely negative but good day for mitt romney, the president's listless performance
in the first presidential debate which he said caused me to have a stroke afterwards. i was so appalled by it. here's part of his closing argument. if you want to call it that. an argument. let's listen to the president in a bad night for him. >> you know, four years ago, i said that i'm not a perfect man and i wouldn't be a perfect president and that's probably a promise governor romney thinks i've kept. but i promised that i would fight every single day on behalf of the american people and the middle class and all those striving to get into the middle class. i've kept that promise and if you'll vote for me, then i fig in a second term. >> i don't know. i don't know what to say even now because he's got -- the man has so much juice and excitement about him. >> he did not want to be there. >> his brain is always working on two or three levels when you're with him and here he was, i want off this stage, i don't want to be here. >> i think a lot had to do with how he felt or feels personally about mitt romney. the idea he was on the stage with him, he thought was beneath
him. i think that's what came across to me. this guy was some place else, yeah, it was his anniversary and all that, put politically why am i dealing with tier two? it showed and came across. romney came with his a-game. that was the guy that i worked with hen was lieutenant governor. >> why didn't the romney we saw in the first debate, wasn't just the president was weak, he was commanding, a little arrogant but it worked. he took control of that room. >> yeah. >> why didn't he come back like that the second and third debate? >> i have no idea. the only thing i can put it on the consultants and people around him, you set it up, we can run the game we've always been running. >> be cautious. >> exactly. >> where in the first one it was all on mitt romney. if he didn't show up that first time then it was over. >> let's take a look at the impact of sandy and hurricane sandy and the pictures we saw on television right near the election, like right before. a president of the united states, a democrat, facing a
really tough re-election situation, along with a pretty popular governor of new jersey. the president at a press conference with new jersey governor chris christie. a week before the election. let's listen. >> what i can promise you is that the federal government will be working as closely as possible with the state and local officials and we will not quit until this is done and the directive that i have given and i said this yesterday but i will repeat and i think craig and others who are working with me right now know i mean it, we are not going to tolerate red tape, not going to tolerate bureaucracy and, you know, i've instituted a 15-minute rule essentially on my team, you return everybody's phone calls in 15 minutes. whether it's the mayor's, the governors, county officials f they need something, we figure out a way to say yes. >> whatever he said then is still important today. there's so much devastation in the new york area, new jersey, everywhere up there. worse than we thought in the beginning. seems to get worse. people without electricity.
that picture, i think it was just two people of different parties and the biggest applause i've heard in the campaign was can't we work together? >> right. that's what people wanted all along throughout this entire campaign was seeing the republicans and democrats conservatives and liberals coming together around a common goal. >> why do you think that bipartisan spirit seems to be stronger than partisanship around the party? >> i think that was there. to chris christie's credit. he galvanized the moment throughout action. you saw a cooperation, his government and the federal government coming together to solve people's problems. >> they were trusted what politicians -- they were dressed in what politicians call clothes, sleeves on and rolled up. i love politics. >> you do. >> i'm breaking this story here. >> we agree with you. >> certain things when people rise to the occasion and do the right thing it's great. i love bill clinton coming to save his old rival and he did. anyway, thank you michael steele and thank you howard fineman. up next, katrina, monica, watergate, second terms can be
rough when presidents -- how does the president avoid na? this president avoid a second term disaster like have met so many when they get re-elected to only more trouble. this is "hardball" the place for politics. my insurance rates are probably gonna double. but, dad, you've got... [ voice of dennis ] allstate. with accident forgiveness, they guarantee your rates won't go up just because of an accident. are you in good hands? [ male announcer ] you've reached the age where you don't back down from a challenge. this is the age of knowing how to make things happen. so, why let erectile dysfunction get in your way? talk to your doctor about viagra. 20 million men already have. ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take viagra if you take nitrates for chest pain; it may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. side effects include headache, flushing, upset stomach, and abnormal vision.
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are remembered for failures in their second term. think katrina for george w. bunch, bill clinton's impeachment, iran can tra for ronald reagan and watergate for nixon. let's take a look at what he can learn and avoid from past precede precedent. with me michael berb losh, a presidentials historian and douglas brinkley a history professor at rice university. i'm going to start with michael. what can a president do to avoid what seems to be the second term curse? >> don't overreach a situation. that's what barack obama said after the election, that he had read the literature on that. the thing is they always feel anointed because they usually get these great victories, most of them larger margin than the first time but forget about the fact that since truman, there's not been a single second term president who has had congress both houses for his entire second term. so here you are feeling entitled
and oftentimes working with a congress that is very hostile, sometimes out for revenge. >> douglas brinkley, what do you think is the key to the second term disasters? what causes them? >> well, i'm not convinced that there is such a thing as a curse. i mean people talk about franklin roosevelt in 1936 winning a landslide election and failing to pack the supreme court. but he went on to win two more terms, he went on and in that second term, to push a minimum wage and get us ready for world war ii. eisenhower's second term he had little rock where he sent in federal troops, he demilitarized antarctica, created anwar, gave the famous farewell address. i can take all these second term presidents. nixon was so rotten his second term and george w. bush's was. there tends to be a curse. bill clinton and ronald reagan did well. i think both of them could
gotten elected a third time. >> i look back at the second roosevelt term as a problem because he went very conservative then, cut spending and browse us into a second -- brought us into a second part of the great depression which he didn't have to do. it was done by policy. i think eisenhower had the problem with sherman adams, his chief of staff betrayed him for money. i want to try something by you, a theory, it may be changed by history, first president, first term you pick the best people you can for your cabinet, the best people around, spending your life looking for them and come in and pick your best people. second term you promote everybody from within. bring up all your deputies and don't quite have that team of rivals that tough thing around you where people can say, mr. president, you're wrong on this one. cabinet members that challenge you. you bring cronies up. and that seems like nixon had it. i don't think people around -- i'm not naming names here, but the people around bill clinton in his second term did not end the monica problem when they saw it, didn't step in and say this is a problem, nobody did nothing
about it. these problems -- i've seen politicians not helped by their aides because their aides kiss up to them and -- anyway, michael your thoughts. >> i cannot disagree with a word you said. we talked about this and the classic case ronald reagan. >> don reagan his chief of staff. >> absolutely passive jim baker as chief of staff went to don reagan secretary of treasury came to the president and said we've agreed to trade our jobs is that okay with you? reagan said fine. >> someone your own age to play with you. >> what do you think of that, doug? >> well, i just don't think it's as big of worry about a cabinet shuffle and white house shuffles compared to what reagan did with his diplomacy with gorbachev. the ronald reagan that margaret thatcher won the cold war without firing a single shot. >> howard baker -- because howard baker, came in and saved his bacon. >> they did. that's a point -- >> chris -- >> doug? >> and also, i was just going to say in the pipeline or a lot of
first term obama has a lot of things in the pipeline. you can do in a second with things you can't do with executive power. sign off today on 15 national monuments for the interior department ken salazar has not been able to touch because of politics. there's a strength to a second term. i agree generally with what you're saying and particularly with congress, it's going to be hard for barack obama to do much more than defend the affordable care act, get something quickly done on immigration, 16 is going to creep up on him and 15. he only has two years to do things. i don't expect it to be in congress that he makes his great mark, but he needs to do something like climate change, international, hold a summit, be the world leader barack obama can be. >> reach for the stars. would you say that is the solution. don't get complacent, go for greatness in the second term. that creates attention. >> do it but probably if you're going to do it with congress do it in the first six months.
lbj after the huge landslide in '64 had huge margins in both houses that said i've only got six months because all these things i'm going to be asking people to do are going to be a sacrifice on the hill they're going to stop doing them after the summer and he was right. >> he lost the south. >> absolutely. >> your thoughts, what do you do to create that artificially the same excitement when you come in the first term? >> i think that's the problem. the great novelist ralph ellerson told norman mailer, who you admire, none of us are indispensable and president obama has to realize he's not indispensable. everybody will be looking for a candidate in '15, a lame duck by 15, and do something quickly in six months. >> when you're with this guy, work him a little. >> scare him a little bit. >> beware of the isolatdes of m purchase michael and doug glast. i noticed you're near the
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it's very easy to talk about the war and beating the japanese if it takes years and a million men but anyone who talks like that should consider his words. so used to talking about billions of dollars and millions of soldiers that the casualties sound like drops in the bucket. if those want to live as much as the ten i saw, the people deciding the wise better make sure this effort is headed for some definite goal and when we reach that goal we may say it was worth it. for if it wasn't it will turn to ashes and we will face trouble. i've had a great time here everything considered but i will be glad to get away from it all for a while. used to have the feeling no matter what happened i would get through. as long as you have that feeling you seem to get through. i've lost that feeling lately but as a matter of fact i don't feel badly. if anything happens to me i have this knowledge if i live to be 100 i can only